BEIJING, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- According to the latest statistics released on June 3, 2012 by iResearch, the leading China internet research company, PPTV's Daily Unique Visitors have reached 34 million, ranked No. 1 in the online video industry. With intense competition among China video players and low royalties for online video users, video companies are pursuing a strategy of content differentiation to stay ahead of the competition. PPTV has been building its differentiated content base on sports programming, exclusive Korean TV dramas and Taiwanese live TV shows for quite a while. Such a differentiated content strategy has helped the company retain its user base and support its growth amidst strong competition.
iResearch released data based on the measurement of "Comprehensive Video Services Ranking" that includes user traffic from both web and client software based video usage. The recent data shows that PPTV, Youku and PPS are ranked as the top three in the industry, all passing 30 million unique users in May 2012. Many believe that Euro 2012 has helped PPTV boost its traffic as PPTV is known for its live streaming technology and large sports content holdings. PPTV is one of only two video companies which acquired the Euro 2012 live streaming copyrights (Tencent video is the other). According to industry experts, PPTV has grown its traffic rapidly in the past six months, and is ranked No.1 in YTD growth, seen from the year-to-date traffic growth trend. After completing a $250 million financing deal with Softbank last year, PPTV invested in a exclusive content library including sports programming, Korean dramas and Taiwanese TV shows. These contents are generally not available on Chinese TV broadcasting stations. Content exclusivity and differentiation keeps PPTV ahead of the competition.
Although the top three companies are very close to each other in the overall ranking of Comprehensive Video Services, PPTV had outperformed most of its peers via its growth rate of 26.8%, followed by Tencent at 25.1%. The Euro 2012 programming has clearly provided a big boost to both of their traffic.
The measurement of 'Daily Unique Visitors' is considered as a key index for advertisement placement. Some experts have pointed out, with Youku and Tudou's merger, that their expected synergy has yet to be seen as the integration process goes on. Suffering from recent lawsuits from Tencent and Sohu, PPS seems to have a shortage of copyrighted content in its content library. It is a fact that most video players can hardly differentiate themselves from each other from a content standpoint. On the other hand, PPTV has constantly invested in live sports programming, such as Euro 2012, English Premier League, NFL, UFC and domestic sports like the CBA, CSL, etc. In early 2011, PPTV signed deals with Korean and Taiwanese TV broadcasters, so PPTV now owns exclusive rights to most Korean TV dramas and Taiwanese TV shows. "We have been pursuing our content differentiation strategy and have focused our investment on it. We understand that sports draw in male viewers, and Korean and Taiwanese TV shows are very appealing to female users," said Vincent Tao, CEO of PPTV, adding, "However, having great content does not guarantee traffic growth." PPTV, once viewed as a client software based video player, has engineered and released their new video products across all devices, including their web viewing product and tablet and mobile phone based products for Android, iOS, Mac, Win 8, etc. The wide availability of its video experience has helped PPTV attract more video users. At the end of May 2012, PPTV ranked as the No.1 most downloaded iPad appstore video application.
The next question is whether PPTV is able to monetize their programming content effectively. In China, Sports media has gone through many tough times. PPTV has developed a so called SEM program, Sports Entertainment Marketing, to attract advertisers. According to a third party source, PPTV had bagged more than 30 advertising sponsors for its Euro Cup live programming at an estimated dollar amount of over 30M RMB. "2012 is all about sports and monetization," said Tao. With the Olympics coming, it could be a great year in terms of content differentiation among China's major online video players.